When Burger King released the Kuro Burger in Japan, I felt both hungry and disturbed. It looked like it’s straight out of a menu from Satan’s 24/7 diner in hell, so of course my weird appetite wanted a taste. The black buns are pigmented with bamboo charcoal, and the cheese gets super emo with the help of squid ink. I’m not so sure about the charcoal, but I love me some cephalopod defense mechanism juices!

Ingredients
* Black Brioche Burger Bun:
* 3 tablespoons warm milk
* 1 cup warm water
* 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon squid ink
* 3 cups bread flour
* ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
* black sesame seeds
* Black Processed Cheese
* 8 ounces solid mild cheddar cheese
* ¼ cup nonfat milk powder
* 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or starch
* salt to taste
* 2 tablespoons butter
* ¼ cup dry white wine
* ¼ cup water
* ½ tablespoon squid ink
* Black sauce:
* ¼ teaspoon squid ink
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* Additional Ingredients:
* 1 lb 20% fat ground beef (about 4 servings)
* salt & pepper, to taste
* vegetable oil for greasing pan
* lettuce
* tomato

Instructions
* Burger Bun:
* In a stand mixer, combine warm water, milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand to allowl the yeast mixture to bloom and get foamy. Meanwhile, beat one egg and the squid ink together in separate bowl.
* Add the egg and quid ink mixture to the yeast mixture, then the flours, and salt. Use the dough hook attachment to mix everything together. Once the mixture starts coming together, add the softened butter, and continue to knead on low for about 8 – 10 minutes. The dough should appear sticky.
* Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased large bowl, and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot. It should take about 1-2 hours for the dough to double in size.
* Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently shape each part into balls, and place them on the parchment paper about 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and allow them to rise again in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
* Place a shallow baking tray on the bottom oven rack, and preheat to 400F. Mix the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush the tops of the buns. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Bake on the middle rack for about 15 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking. Transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
* Cheese & sauce:
* Grate the cheese and place in a food processor or blender. Combine with milk powder, tapioca flour, and salt.
* In a saucepan, combine butter, wine, and water. Cover and bring it to a boil.
* Remove the sauce from heat, and pour the hot liquid over the cheese, a little at a time. Then process for about a minute, and add the squid ink. Continue processing until the cheese has melted and everything is combined well. You may need to scrape down the sides to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
* Pour mixture into a plastic-lined loaf pan, smooth the top, and cover. Refrigerate until fully set and firm enough to slice.
* Meanwhile, combine squid ink and ketchup to create the black sauce.
* Burger meat & assembly:
* Set a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Lightly brush on some vegetable oil. Divide ground beef. Place equal portions on the skillet, and use a spatula to smash the patties into flat rounds. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the outer edges are brown. Flip and place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. They are ready when the cheese begins to melt and the burgers are cooked to your liking.
* Assemble the burgers with sauce, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes.